In past recent years, instant chat apps have gradually replaced text messages as a medium for communication.
Easy to use and audio, video & file sharing functionalities are common features in today’s popular chat apps. In fact, chat apps have been snapped up by social networks to expand their offerings, and to provide new platforms to display advertisements or implement a new feature to monetize a service that is usually free.
A chat app is basically a channel of communication between registered users that offers one-to-one and one-to-many messaging service.
In a chat app, messages and files are transmitted via data connections and mobile web.
In 2015, 75% of the mobile users used the instant messaging app for communication. Furthermore, the eMarketer predicts that the number of instant messaging app usage worldwide will increase to 2 billion and represent 80% of smartphone users by 2018.
The Instant Messaging App Evolution
Instant messaging apps evolved from text messaging via the internet. In the beginning, short messages were exchanged between two parties.
The forerunners of these instant messenger apps first appeared in the mid-1990s with providers such as ICQ and AOL instant messenger. Later other providers also jumped on board and developed their own messenger (MSN and Yahoo) to offer instant messaging services.
Then, in 2010, Facebook entered the world of messaging with its Facebook Chat, offering instant messaging functionality to its users.
This server-side chat feature quickly became universal on social media, whether it’s Twitter, Instagram, or Tumblr, the private and instant messaging functionality is now expected by many users.
Today, messaging apps are a growth market that shows no sign of slowing down. According to comScore data on mobile messaging app users, Facebook Messenger, Line, and GroupMe saw the most growth between 2014 and 2015.
Facebook Messenger app grew from 37.9 million to 90.2 million users in a year, GroupMe nearly doubled its users from 2.7 million to 5.2 million, and Line grew from 2.7 million users to 4.7 million users.
However, the messaging landscape is strongly fragmented, with dozens of messaging apps competing for each other for users’ attention.
Nonetheless, Facebook is the current market leader with its strong offerings such as Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger. Combined both audiences, Facebook has a massive one billion monthly users for Whatsapp and $900 million for Messenger.
Today, other players are also entering the market. For example, Russian chat app Telegram is particularly strong in the Russian market, where Google is also enhancing its chat app Google Allo with artificial intelligence.
Recently, they’ve added a new feature with the help of neural networks to turn a selfie into a personalized sticker pack.
It works like this: you take a selfie using the feature, and it matches your selfie to a set of artist illustrations designed to represent a variety of features. Human raters help to measure the accuracy of matches between the photos and illustrated features chosen by the app.
Such technological advancements provide huge opportunities for marketers. Based on artificial intelligence and deep learning, it’s now possible to create one-to-one interactions that will not only make communication between brands and their customers easier, but it will also push the sales as the direct line between brand and users.
Today, every successful real-time chatting app available in the App Store and Google Play Store have salient features that have struck a chord with users. As mentioned, users now expect elaborate features out of instant messaging apps for Android and iPhone that can do more than just chatting.
Now, if you want to enter the messaging market with your own instant messaging app like Google Allo, here are a couple of features that you can consider to develop the best chatting app:
For anyone, security is a prime concern. So, while developing your instant messaging app, it’s necessary to ensure to keep the data of user secure, intact, and insulated from third party infiltration.
It is a must have feature because it’s prompt and happens immediately without any delay. Today, real-time connectivity without any distance barrier is what ticks instant message communication.
An instant messaging application must give its users the facility to engage in group conversations. In addition, these group feature also must have the facility to share multimedia files, screens, locations, and anything that is possible on the desktop environment.
Voice and Video Calling
Whatsapp introduced both voice and video calling service and Skype since the first days has both features. The whole world rejoiced as this took instant messaging to the next level.
Nowadays, a lot of people want to share their locations with each other at some point in time. So, location sharing is of great significance in situations where there is a remote employee who wants to stay connected with his base office for sharing information.
Quick Search Functionality
A search functionality makes it easier for users to search and track conversations that happened long ago. This feature is useful for both personal and professional conversations where facts, details or anything of importance is shared via messaging application.
Now, these features alone won’t make your app stand out from the crowd, but these are all essential features to add in your Google Allo like app.
And, in your instant messaging application, you can also implement features such as incognito mode, instant response feature, shout & whisper, and of course the stickers.
In addition, you could also add stories feature that Facebook has cloned from Snapchat in all its apps (Whatsapp, Facebook App, Messenger, and Instagram).
Nevertheless, if you have a unique idea of your own for a chat app, you can consult with a top mobile app development company to get the fair estimate for your chat app development.